Petrucci takes first MotoGP win in Mugello epic

Danilo Petrucci pic:

Factory Ducati rider Danilo Petrucci has become a MotoGP race winner as he saw off Marc Marquez and Andrea Dovizioso in an epic battle at Mugello.

Petrucci forcefully regained the lead when Marquez and Dovizioso blazed past him up the hill into San Donato at the start of the final lap, and went on to take victory by 0.043s.

Marquez finished second on his Repsol Honda, extending championship lead in the process, while Dovizioso made it two Mission Winnow Ducatis on the podium having held off Alex Rins at the final corner.

Rins was good value for fourth on his Suzuki Ecstar entry, while Jack Miller crashed out when he pushed his Pramac Ducati too hard as he tried to stay with the lead group.

Marquez led the field to the first corner with Cal Crutchlow second, Dovizioso jumping from ninth on the grid to third position, and Petrucci and Miller emerging in fourth and fifth respectively.

Dovizioso, Petrucci, and Miller had all passed the Castrol LCR Honda by the time they got back to San Donato, and Rins relegated Crutchlow to sixth before the second lap was out.

What followed for the next dozen laps or so was a furious battle between the top five.

Initially it was Petrucci, Miller, and Rins fighting for third before Petrucci got under Dovizioso at Scarperia on Lap 5.

Seconds later, he was challenging Marquez also and the three GP19 Ducatis swarmed on the factory Honda at the top of the main straight on Lap 6, where Petrucci took the lead and Miller seized third as Marquez dropped behind Rins to fifth position

The world champion spent only a lap behind the Suzuki while Dovizioso passed Petrucci at the start of Lap 7.

Miller tried to take second from #9 at San Donato a lap later but the Italian quickly re-passed his former team-mate and the Australian was shuffled back to fifth.

Petrucci passed Dovizioso at Bucine on Lap 8 but #04 slipstreamed back past up the straight, and Rins got both Marquez and Petrucci on Lap 9.

The Suzuki pilot took first position from Dovizioso at Correntaio on Lap 10 and Petrucci followed, but Rins was swallowed up by the three behind at the start of Lap 11.

Rins had a couple more brief spells in the top three but by then the contest was entering into a holding pattern with Petrucci heading Marquez and Dovizioso.

Miller got himself back in touch with the top four by setting the fastest lap of the race on Lap 15, only to lose the front at Materassi on Lap 16.

Dovizioso reignited the battled when he squeezed past Marquez at San Donato on Lap 19, then rounded up Petrucci at the same spot a lap later.

Petrucci got him back at Scarperia and had too much for Dovizioso under brakes at San Donato on Lap 21.

He started the 23rd and final lap in the lead but was slipstreamed by Marquez and Dovizioso into San Donato.

The Italian responded by jamming his Ducati back inside #04 and #93 on exit, forcing both Marquez and Dovizioso to pick up their bikes.

Rins had a go at Dovizioso at the final corner but was kept at bay, as Petrucci broke through in the best possible circumstances.

“It’s unbelievable, in the best place of the world here,” he said.

“It’s unbelievable, in front of my fans, in my home town, it’s unbelievable.

“It was a fantastic race, I cannot describe the feeling I have now because I haven’t recognised that I have won, and now I think when I jump on the podium I will realise.

“For sure I would like to thank my family, my friends, and all the people in Ducati, and also Andrea Dovizioso for helping me through the winter and this season. This win is for everyone who helped me.”

Takaaki Nakagami was fifth and best of the independent team riders on his Idemitsu LCR Honda, ahead of Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha), Ducati test rider Michele Pirro, Crutchlow, Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory), and Fabio Quartararo (Petronas SRT Yamaha), who made a poor start from the middle of the front row.

Valentino Rossi had a horror show from 18th on the grid, surviving a touch with Joan Mir’s Suzuki that saw both traverse a gravel trap on Lap 5, before crashing his Monster Energy Yamaha for good at Arrabbiata 2 on Lap 8.

Round 7 of the MotoGP season takes place at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on June 14-16.

Race results: Italian MotoGP

Pos Num Rider Nat Team Bike Time/Gap
1 9 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA Mission Winnow Ducati Ducati 41:33.794
2 93 Marc MARQUEZ ESP Repsol Honda Team Honda +0.043
3 04 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Mission Winnow Ducati Ducati +0.338
4 42 Alex RINS ESP Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki +0.535
5 30 Takaaki NAKAGAMI JPN LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda +6.535
6 12 Maverick VIÑALES ESP Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha +7.481
7 51 Michele PIRRO ITA Mission Winnow Ducati Ducati +13.288
8 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR LCR Honda CASTROL Honda +13.937
9 44 Pol ESPARGARO ESP Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM +16.533
10 20 Fabio QUARTARARO FRA Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha +17.994
11 41 Aleix ESPARGARO ESP Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia +20.523
12 36 Joan MIR ESP Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki +20.544
13 99 Jorge LORENZO ESP Repsol Honda Team Honda +20.813
14 17 Karel ABRAHAM CZE Reale Avintia Racing Ducati +27.298
15 29 Andrea IANNONE ITA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia +28.051
16 88 Miguel OLIVEIRA POR Red Bull KTM Tech 3 KTM +30.101
17 5 Johann ZARCO FRA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM +41.857
DNF 43 Jack MILLER AUS Pramac Racing Ducati 8 Laps
DNF 63 Francesco BAGNAIA ITA Pramac Racing Ducati 12 Laps
DNF 55 Hafizh SYAHRIN MAS Red Bull KTM Tech 3 KTM 14 Laps
DNF 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 16 Laps
DNF 21 Franco MORBIDELLI ITA Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha 18 Laps
DNF 53 Tito RABAT ESP Reale Avintia Racing Ducati 0 Lap

Race winner: 23 laps

Championship points

Pos Rider Nat Pts
1 Marc MARQUEZ ESP 115
2 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA 103
3 Alex RINS ESP 88
4 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA 82
5 Valentino ROSSI ITA 72
6 Jack MILLER AUS 42
8 Maverick VIÑALES ESP 40
9 Takaaki NAKAGAMI JPN 40
14 Jorge LORENZO ESP 19
15 Joan MIR ESP 12
16 Johann ZARCO FRA 10
17 Michele PIRRO ITA 9
18 Francesco BAGNAIA ITA 9
19 Miguel OLIVEIRA POR 8
20 Andrea IANNONE ITA 7
21 Stefan BRADL GER 6
22 Karel ABRAHAM CZE 2
23 Hafizh SYAHRIN MAS 2
24 Tito RABAT ESP 2
25 Bradley SMITH GBR

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